MEJ Masthead

Celebrate your weirdness with Canberra Youth Theatre’s poem every day

Helena Game

After a great 2016, Canberra Youth Theatre has started 2017 in much the same way, with its first two productions for this year selling out.

Up next this month is poem every day, performed by the theatre’s Company Ensemble; a select group of performers aged 16-25.

Using the poetry of local poet Joshua Bell, poem every day will be an immersive experience, drawing on the experimental theatrical practices of performance artists including German choreographer and dancer Pina Bausch, who blended movement and stage sets in innovative ways, and playwright Bertolt Brecht, who explored the concept of theatre as a space for political debate.

Based largely on Joshua’s poem Don’t hide your weirdness, actors will showcase both their individual and collective responses to the poem.


Co-Directed by Tracy Bourne and Katie Cawthorne and with lighting and sound by the Canberra Youth Theatre’s Advanced Technical Theatre Team along with Kimmo Vennonen, audiences will be asked to stand up and move through the performance, adding another element of intrigue.

Tracy and Katie say the piece is about self-reflection and self-exploration.

“We would like the audience to reflect on whether they are always being true to themselves as an individual, or whether they could be truer. They might feel a sense of release, even in the smallest capacity, a desire to break the rules, even in the tiniest of ways and maybe even sense of comfort in their identity as they leave the space.”

“We hope that they will feel liberated by the fun we have in exploring the ‘not-normal’ within ourselves, [and] we hope that they embrace and enjoy their own ‘oddness’ during and after the show.”

Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell

While the performance isn’t ‘traditional’, audiences don’t need to be worried about getting involved.

“This experience will be fun! Before everyone starts freaking out and thinking they have to actively participate, put your minds to rest, you don’t.”

“Some audience members might find that they see new rules in terms of what you can and can’t do in a theatrical performance, [and] some might already know these.

“They can expect to feel a collective experience. They will not be in it alone – we are inviting them to share the fun of the piece with us in their own way. Hopefully, there is satisfaction in that.”

the essentials

What: poem every day by the Canberra Youth Theatre. Recommended for ages 13 and up.
When: 17-19 August at 7pm, doors open at 6.30pm for pre-show drinks
Where: Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera Street, Braddon
For tickets and more information, visit

Feature image: The Company Ensemble: (L to R) Amber Spooner, Kitty Malam, Mia Tuco, Aram Geleris, Brenton Cleaves, Jamie Johnstone, Stefanie Lekkas and Caitlin Baker. Image supplied. 


Helena Game

Helena is a wannabe journalist studying Communications and Journalism at the University of Canberra. Canberra born and bred, she is hopelessly in love with writing, stories and travel. She recently wrote her way around Japan for a creative writing study tour, and spent another two weeks in the Middle East on a journalism exchange, both of which have left her with a proper case of the post-travel blues. While she plots her next adventure, Helena is hoping to gain as much industry experience as humanly possible, and somehow finish her degree at the same time. More about the Author